When former President Bill Clinton was impeached, he struck a more somber tone and apologized to the nation.
Flash forward to now, and the current impeached president is bragging, boasting, and shooting Cheeto dust all over the constitution. Of course, that has been made easier by Attorney General William Barr, who has acted more like Trump’s personal attorney than Attorney General of the United States.
Former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer, who served under President George H.W. Bush, penned a blunt op-ed in The Atlantic that called for the resignation of Barr. Ayer, not holding anything back, said Barr’s “long-held belief in the need for a virtually autocratic executive” clearly illustrates his “unfitness for office.”
“The evenhanded conduct of the prosecutions of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn by experienced Department of Justice attorneys have been disrupted at the 11th hour by the attorney general’s efforts to soften the consequences for the president’s associates,” Ayer wrote. “More generally, it appears that Barr has recently identified a group of lawyers who he trusts and put them in place to oversee and second-guess the work of the department’s career attorneys on a broader range of cases. And there is no comfort from any of this in Barr’s recent protests about the president’s tweeting. He in no way suggested he was changing course, only that it is hard appear independent when the president is publicly calling for him to follow the path he is on.”
Basically, Ayer believes that Barr has always dreamed of subverting justice by serving as an obsequious toadie for a President that shows utter contempt for the rule of law as Trump has on a routine basis. Moreover, taking a chainsaw to all the DOJ safeguards put in place following Watergate.
“Barr’s frontal attack on this system begins with an assault on [post-Watergate AG Edward] Levi’s central premise, that ours must be a ‘government of laws and not men,’ in which no person is above the law,” Ayer wrote. “Even more emphatically, though, Barr has brought with him to the department an extraordinary belief in the need for an all-powerful president that is flatly irreconcilable with Levi’s vision, which restored the Department of Justice to honor and integrity in the mid-’70s. Perhaps most disturbingly, Barr contends that it is virtually impossible for a corrupt president to be held to account by the Department of Justice, or by any independent counsel that it or Congress might appoint.”
That this is coming from a staunchly conservative Republican who isn’t exactly authoring anti-fracking columns for The Nation, gives it even more credibility.
Despite his little song and dance about Trump’s Twitter tantrums, Barr appears to be acting like a crook in cop’s clothing.